Risk Factors for Heart Valve Disease

There are a number of risk factors for heart valve disease.  They include:

  • History of endocarditis (an infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves)
  • History of rheumatic fever (a complication associated with strep throat)
  • Older age which causes your heart valve to thicken and become stiffer
  • Prior heart attack or heart failure

If you have risk factors for coronary artery disease, they put you at a higher risk for developing heart valve disease.  They include:

  • Diabetes
  • Family history of early heart disease
  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Obesity
  • Resistance to insulin
  • Smoking

Some people have a congenital condition called bicuspid aortic valve. This means that your aortic valve has two flaps instead of three. This condition places you at a higher risk for developing aortic heart valve disease.

Talk with your doctor about your risk factors, especially if you have any symptoms of heart valve problems or disease.